How to Clean Suede Shoes in 2024 | Vibram Shoe

New suede shoes might feel soft and smooth, but once you wear them outside, they easily get dirty and damaged. Suede is a delicate material that absorbs water and stains easily, so it needs special attention to stay clean...
Clean Suede Shoes

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Suede is a soft material that needs special attention. Here’s how to remove dirt, stains, and marks from your suede shoes.

  Time Required    Estimated Cost
    15 min   $10
  • Corn starch (optional)
  • Suede protectant spray (optional)
  • Hydrogen peroxide (optional)
  • Use Rubbing alcohol, White vinegar or Suede cleaner
  • (Gentle) Soft cloth
  • Pencil eraser or Suede rubber eraser
  • Suede brush, microfiber cloth or soft-bristle shoe brush and toothbrush

New suede shoes might feel soft and smooth, but once you wear them outside, they easily get dirty and damaged. Suede is a delicate material that absorbs water and stains easily, so it needs special attention to stay clean. 

Using a suede protector can help your shoes last longer. If they get scuffed or stained, try these methods to make them look like new again.

Before you start, put a shoe tree inside your shoes or fill them with crumpled newspapers to keep their shape while you clean.

Start by using a soft brush or toothbrush to gently remove any dirt or debris on the shoe’s surface. If you don’t have a brush, a clean cloth works too, but don’t use soap or water, as it can make things messier. To remove small scuff marks, brush from side to side quickly to lift the suede fibers from the shoe and loosen any debris before moving to the next step.

To get rid of any marks on your shoes, a suede eraser works well. If you don’t have one, you can use a pencil eraser or a household cleaning eraser as an alternative. Just make sure the eraser is free of stains. 

Apply a bit more pressure during this step, but be careful not to rub the suede too forcefully to avoid damaging it. Use a back-and-forth motion to remove any stubborn stains. If that doesn’t work, proceed to the next step for a stronger solution.

If everything else doesn’t work, you can use a sour liquid to separate clumps of particles and get rid of stains. We suggest wetting the edge of a dry cloth with a bit of suede cleaner, white vinegar, or rubbing alcohol.

Make sure not to soak the shoe too much, just make the suede slightly damp. Rub the shoe quickly from side to side, then let the suede dry. If the stain is still there, do the same process again.

Oil and Grease Stains: Spread cornstarch on the stain and let it sit for a few hours. Instead of a suede brush, softly wipe off any leftover bits with a cloth or use a hand vacuum to lift them from the shoe.

Gum or Wax: Stick your shoes in the freezer until the gum or wax gets hard. After that, just peel or scrape it off the shoe.

We suggest not washing suede shoes in the washing machine or by hand with soap and water. Suede absorbs water, which can make stains worse. Instead, use a dry brush, then a rubber eraser, and for tough stains, try rubbing alcohol, white vinegar, or a special suede cleaner.

Using suede protectant can stop water stains on your shoes when it rains or if something spills on them. Before trying any new shoe care product, like suede protectant, it’s a good idea to read reviews from other customers first.

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